Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

A Swadeshi Economy....Village Uplift Industries

I have a dream to start a NEW economy for women which will compete on the open markets in direct competition with products made by employees of factories presently operated by small business owners or companies for the purpose of PROFIT to a business owner or a company and its shareholders.
The reasoning behind the obvious future success of such a venture is that the products will be able to be sold at a very competitive price advantage because our motivation is not one of profit for a company or individuals, but EMPLOYMENT for the unemployed.

The initial Pilot program will mean placing a Foot Pedal Sewing Machine (electricity is not always available) in as many households of a particular Village to enable the village women to commence the making of the garments which are worn by ordinary people, this means such garments which are at present being made by medium and large factories.(I am not talking about Khadi)

The organization will be a cooperative venture with wages paid to the frontline workers in line with a calculated fairness assessment to be agreed by all women within each individual cooperative. Profits realized from the excess of sales against costs will be shared between the workers and a "Future Fund" to cover off the further growth of "Village Uplift Industries"

Gandhi recognized that alienation and exploitation often occur when production and consumption are divorced from their social and cultural context, and that local enterprise (as Village Uplift Industries) is a way to avoid these problems.

Swadeshi is that spirit in us which requires us to serve our immediate neighbours before others, or to put it another way SERVE our brothers and sisters who are suffering through a lack of employment and the dignity which employment brings.
In so doing we serve humanity to the best of our capacity. We cannot serve humanity by neglecting our neighbours whether they live next door or in other countries.

Planning has already started for a commencement in Assam in the North East of India with the help of Uttam Teron of Parijat Academy and Mahatma Gandhi Awareness Australia.


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Comment by Garvin Brown on August 5, 2010 at 2:17
Riccardo your email was for me wonderful....magical....beautiful. You say when you were younger, but to me you speak the words of a young man. We are all young and alive if we have self belief. The words of Vivekananda are with me constantly..." Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life...think of it..dream of on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that one idea, and just leave every other idea alone...........WE MUST GO DEEPER.
I am especially interested in your cooperative operation and the employment of 800 members.
On the raising of funds it is my intention with Uttam Teron of Parijat Academy and Biju Borbarua and Jayanta Barman all in the business of Schools for the underprivileged to Walk...Walk...Walk to raise funds. As you would know Gandhi was called the Prince of Beggars. I intend to ask for at least 1 rupee from everyone but of course I would expect the rich to donate more. The reason for the one rupee is because it will involve even the poor because one rupee from the poor will bring tears to my eyes as it could be ALL their wealth and I want so much to have the poor involved in their uplift.
My very good friend Uttam Teron who runs a school for the underprivileged in Assam called Parijat Academy (He has a website) is working on the planning for the Walks.
If your motive is pure then there can never be any doubts about the end result..IT WILL HAPPEN..M K Gandhi




Comment by Riccardo Gramegna on August 4, 2010 at 18:27
I love your enthusiasm and your passion… It reminds me when I was much younger…
Last 25 years of my life I spent conducting a similar experiment in a mountain community in the western italian Alps. It was Vinoba Bhave, when I had the priviledge to meet him in 1982, to inspire me to that mission and, as a result, I have gained a lot of experience and wisdom.
The goal of the cooperative was to create job opportunities for the mentally and socially disadvantaged of the community. It was organized exactly the way you have in mind… in line with the “gandhian way”… we even had, every year, the visit of “gandhian inspectors” such as A.B.Bhardwaj, founder of Gandhi In Action International, S.V. Govindan from the Ashram of Vinoba and many others, and they always had words of appreciation and encouragement.
In the years we developed a cooperatives system with different activities in different locations (one of them was indeed a textile crafts workshop started with pedal sawing machines) and more than 800 members who found work, dignity, income for self sustaining and projects to uplift the whole community.
I do not know how you think to find the necessary funds to start your project… in this I have no experience as I did not fundraise or solicitate public or private donations or contributions… I used my family funds as I had to redeem my father’s karma (he worked all his life for a bank) and decided to practice voluntary poverty.
I like your project anyway and if I can be useful in some viable way, I’ll be glad to help.
I might go to India this autumn or winter as I have a couple of ideas about kadhi and supporting women in rural villages (we must have in common some kind of vibrational frequency we are both tuned in)… but it is not in line with the traditional gandhian swadeshi idea, but for a sort of enlarged, global Jai Jagat swadeshi .. anyway, we can keep in touch!
Comment by Arya Bhushan Bhardwaj on January 11, 2010 at 6:42
Dear Gravin, Your idea to start Swadeshi Project is very good. I can give you suppoet in India. You have to understand the real meaning of the Concept of Swedeshi, which I hope you will realise during the experiment that you are going to make in Assam, blessings for the success of our noble mission,

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